Nine months after having my beautiful, healthy, miraculous baby girl, and I finally reached my pre-baby weight. It has been an emotional journey, so I felt the need to share. Everyone’s experience will be different, but this is mine.
Anyone who has read my blog over the past 7 years, knows I had been on along, slow journey towards healthy living, which coincidentally, reached its finale (best shape of my life) just a month before conceiving. While overjoyed with the news, in the back of my mind, I cringed at a family members’ comment from years past, “someday you’ll have kids and get fat like the rest of us”. Determined not to make that a reality and set a healthy example for my new, impressionable daughter, I tried not to go overboard with my diet (admittedly there were way too many Fruit Loops), and exercised almost every day I wasn’t ill. I was fortunate to have a very smooth, healthy pregnancy despite my age (35). I had this delusion, that I would bounce right back to my pre-baby body within a mere two months. After all, if celebrities could do it, I could too, right? Welllllll… I wished I had heeded so many friends and expert’s advice and given my body the same amount of time to bounce back as it did to build the baby – a minimum of 9 months.
So reflecting on my journey, here’s a few things I learned about getting back to my former self, both physically and emotionally:
- It really helps if you were fit and lived a healthy lifestyle before you got pregnant. I read an article that said the best predictor of your post-baby body, is your pre-baby body.
- Pregnancy is not the time to throw your diet to the wind and give up exercise. Eat when you’re hungry, but try to make healthy choices, and exercise often as permitted by your doctor. Mine told me I could do most anything I did before pregnancy, which didn’t exclude much! I mostly walked, but went jogging just a few days before giving birth.
- Don’t try and lose weight right after the baby is born, especially if you’re BF. Just make healthy food choices, exercise when time and energy allows, and let your amazing body (which just built a human being!) take care of the rest.
- For some, the last 10 pounds will not come off until after you finish BF, and that definitely applied to me. Your body naturally holds on to excess fat stores to make sure it’s got plenty of fuel to make baby food (dang our bodies are genius!). For me, that was at 7-months, when I transitioned her to formula, increased my workouts, and within a month the scale started moving again and the softness started melting away.
- You need to exercise, for you mental health if nothing else. Being a mom is HARD, and exercise produces lots of great endorphins that you need right now. During my 6-weeks postpartum check-up, my doctor highly recommended that I exercise as often as possible for my mental sanity. That’s a prescription I will definitely take.
- Yes, 6-pack abs ARE possible after baby. I read an article on a popular pregnancy website that showed lots of pictures of “real women” a year after baby. It was well-intended to help women see the realities of a post-baby body, but there was one problem – it did not show anyone like me, fit and fabulous post-baby, and yes there are lots of us (all my beautiful friends for example). So, take everything you read with a grain of salt, and refer back to #1…
Mommies… what has been your postpartum body experience?